Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood
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Old 28-08-2017, 08:58 AM   #1
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Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

Hi!
I'm new here but maybe someone will find this useful. I really like to use this before I start:

C Major
Completely Pure. Its character is: innocence, simplicity, naÔvety, children's talk.

C Minor
Declaration of love and at the same time the lament of unhappy love. All languishing, longing, sighing of the love-sick soul lies in this key.

D♭ Major
A leering key, degenerating into grief and rapture. It cannot laugh, but it can smile; it cannot howl, but it can at least grimace its crying.--Consequently only unusual characters and feelings can be brought out in this key.

C# Minor
Penitential lamentation, intimate conversation with God, the friend and help-meet of life; sighs of disappointed friendship and love lie in its radius.

D Major
The key of triumph, of Hallejuahs, of war-cries, of victory-rejoicing. Thus, the inviting symphonies, the marches, holiday songs and heaven-rejoicing choruses are set in this key.

D Minor
Melancholy womanliness, the spleen and humours brood.

E♭ Major
The key of love, of devotion, of intimate conversation with God.

D# Minor
Feelings of the anxiety of the soul's deepest distress, of brooding despair, of blackest depresssion, of the most gloomy condition of the soul. Every fear, every hesitation of the shuddering heart, breathes out of horrible D# minor. If ghosts could speak, their speech would approximate this key.

E Major
Noisy shouts of joy, laughing pleasure and not yet complete, full delight lies in E Major.

E minor
NaÔve, womanly innocent declaration of love, lament without grumbling; sighs accompanied by few tears; this key speaks of the imminent hope of resolving in the pure happiness of C major.
F Major
Complaisance & Calm.

F Minor
Deep depression, funereal lament, groans of misery and longing for the grave.

F# Major
Triumph over difficulty, free sigh of relief utered when hurdles are surmounted; echo of a soul which has fiercely struggled and finally conquered lies in all uses of this key.

F# Minor
A gloomy key: it tugs at passion as a dog biting a dress. Resentment and discontent are its language.

G Major
Everything rustic, idyllic and lyrical, every calm and satisfied passion, every tender gratitude for true friendship and faithful love,--in a word every gentle and peaceful emotion of the heart is correctly expressed by this key.

G Minor
Discontent, uneasiness, worry about a failed scheme; bad-tempered gnashing of teeth; in a word: resentment and dislike.

A♭ Major
Key of the grave. Death, grave, putrefaction, judgment, eternity lie in its radius.

A♭ Minor
Grumbler, heart squeezed until it suffocates; wailing lament, difficult struggle; in a word, the color of this key is everything struggling with difficulty.

A Major
This key includes declarations of innocent love, satisfaction with one's state of affairs; hope of seeing one's beloved again when parting; youthful cheerfulness and trust in God.

A minor
Pious womanliness and tenderness of character.

B♭ Major
Cheerful love, clear conscience, hope aspiration for a better world.

B♭ minor
A quaint creature, often dressed in the garment of night. It is somewhat surly and very seldom takes on a pleasant countenance. Mocking God and the world; discontented with itself and with everything; preparation for suicide sounds in this key.

B Major
Strongly coloured, announcing wild passions, composed from the most glaring coulors. Anger, rage, jealousy, fury, despair and every burden of the heart lies in its sphere.

B Minor
This is as it were the key of patience, of calm awaiting ones's fate and of submission to divine dispensation.

Have fun!

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Old 28-08-2017, 06:35 PM   #2
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Re: Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

Interesting info. Thanks for posting.
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Old 19-09-2017, 08:28 AM   #3
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Re: Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

This makes about as much sense to me as reading an astrological horoscope.

In an equal tempered tuning system, where every half note step is mathematically equidistant, - every major or minor scale is fundamentally identical.

Choosing a certain scale over another can make sense in relation to the instrument you want to use, like for example if you have a singer who can't sing the high note of the tune, you move/modulate the entire thing "down". But the intervallic relationships within the scale (major or minor) remain the same.

In comparison, classic Indian raga scales use non-tempered intervals, creating a much wider range of unique scales (about 500 different scales or "modes" are commonly used). The traditional way to tune up for a raga is to have the vocalist sing the deepest note he or she is comfortable with, and then use that as the fundamental for the scale.

Note how this means, that you right from the start are outside of the western "440Hz is A", and that the actual frequency of the fundamental note is seen as irrelevant.

In my opinion this system makes it a lot more meaningful to have poetic descriptions for each scale/mode, since you'll basically have to know them by heart in order to to be able to play them. Compared to that, the western 12 note tempered system, while admittedly very practical, seems relatively unpoetical to me.

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Old 19-09-2017, 02:53 PM   #4
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Re: Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

The OP is just copypasta.

Usually when we're referencing something, we just post the link and call it a day. Most of us have mastered the skill of clicking a link, so you don't have to go through the 'trouble'.

For future reference, of course.
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Old 17-04-2018, 10:15 PM   #5
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Re: Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

I really don't know where this idea came from. In my studies I have found other attempts at attaching emotions to keys based on what the root note is. Really its about relation and non relation of notes that can help express emotion. Different modes are really helpful when looking for different effects on a root note. Otherwise it doesn't matter what note is the root note of a major scale. A ii-V-I progression will come across the same in C major to any other Major scale

Change my mind

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Old 22-04-2018, 11:47 PM   #6
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Re: Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

I agree with the replies stating the importance of relationships being the most interesting / important aspect. There has been many attempts to associate different keys with different feelings but in my opinion these attempts are possibly not accurate and mostly not useful from my tests because the concept mostly ignores timing. It only accounts for the perspectives, playing styles, life experiences of the ones trying to understand and define mood / emotion with keys. But this is only my opinion and I do find the topic very interesting. I also believe there is so much about the mind and universe that we do not understand or cannot comprehend.

Relative pitch and emotion: (Most important)
I'm not going in depth here just giving some basic info from my perspective regarding the topic at hand.
Most people obviously have (mostly) relative pitch (me being one of them). We make our emotional associations based on the relationship of different pitches. This takes into consideration the time factor of music as well. A melody can ask questions and give answers for example based on its movement, timings, jumps. Tension / release. For people with relative pitch I think there could possibly be something subconscious that we are not reading or looking at fully. The tone or color of a one shot note or even a one shot chord. Played over and over maybe just maybe there is something in there. But this is extremely personal.

To build on the importance of relativity there is [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
(more along the line of tension / release mostly in regards to song structure but could also be musical phrases) being a climax of some kind that seems to go beyond expectation in a song often evoking chills of some kind. For me I feel goosebumps and other times I feel my face rush. Only about 50% of people experience this from one study I was looking at. Those people are also said to have personality traits of being more open minded. From anecdotal shit I have read on reddit Frisson seems to be a dopamine response of some kind. This feels right to me actually.
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Absolute Pitch and Synaesthesia: (Subconscious associations, colors, resonating molecules, hippy shit?)
Where this becomes interesting is when you look at the perspectives of people with perfect/absolute pitch. (Absolute pitch is when someone can hear a note in their head without any reference and say that is a C note or whatever. Mozart is said to have possessed this ability) When somebody with absolute pitch describes a single note they seem to evoke a mental/emotional relationship with a certain memory or time that they heard something similar to that. For example a microwave ding or a car horn that they heard when they were a kid while hanging out with their Dad having a wonderful time. Maybe a song they heard. That association becomes the feeling of that note. Often time these individuals are blind or have a music childhoods of some kind. Allegedly people can learn this or make their own personal connection to pitch and harmony. Search around on youtube for example and you can see people describe associations like this.

If anyone is interested I can post some descriptions of how people with absolute pitch see different notes. From what I have gathered around the web. Individual notes of course. Again who knows if this shit is useful or not. It is simply interesting.

Synaesthesia which is a different concept / perspective than perfect pitch (though a person with perfect pitch may experience this) it shows similar associative attributes changing from person to person. People make associates with one stimuli for example sound and other senses like taste, smell, or vision. Sushi for example taste like F#. For example where people see different colors ([Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
) in their head after hearing a note or chord, even music phrases. It seems they make personal associates. For example a cloudy day, seeing blue, or hearing a lot of dreary music in D which introduces that perspective. Even for happy music in D that person sees blue.
It is interesting seeing similarities between different people seeing the same colors as other people. This could be cultural similarities or maybe there is something even deeper than that.

Interesting website / articles:
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(Just google Chromesthesia and you will find all sorts of interesting stuff)


Noise (Somewhere beyond simple pitch)
As an IDM and [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
(Autonomous sensory meridian response) lover I also believe there are sounds that either by frequency or simple association seem to trigger something emotionally or eargasmically. This feels more like serotonin to me and a few other people on reddit seem to think so also.
Again with this reedit thread: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


Tuning, there of course is other tunings that explore emotion between our standard tunings / notes.

Binaural beats, this to me is pretty extreme, there is of course that part of youtube that is super fucking weird but there could be something to this as well. I have never felt anything personally from it.

To conclude for now:
Obviously due to the complexity of this and unknowns it is probably best to take this with grains of salt but experimenting is what this shit is all about. There is research being done in some of these areas. Simple answer just do shit randomly maybe, whatever feels right to you. Hahahah!

Resources and similar material:
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Old 23-04-2018, 12:08 AM   #7
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Re: Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

I would agree with the previous comment but there are some things to keep in mind. This theory or idea of certain frequencies drawing out certain emotions of humans has been around for a very long time. During this very long time A4 was originally at 436hz and has evolved to what it is today 440hz.

Another thing to keep in mind is that pianos are not tuned to a standard tuning. Because the physical properties of piano strings, they are for what ever reason tuned with larger intervals than standard tuning.

Iím sure that there could be some human emotion connection brought out by frequencies but I highly doubt that those frequencies would fall in line with in a western scale.

Anything is possible though

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Old 23-04-2018, 12:44 AM   #8
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Re: Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

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Originally Posted by Bergnermd View Post
Another thing to keep in mind is that pianos are not tuned to a standard tuning. Because the physical properties of piano strings, they are for what ever reason tuned with larger intervals than standard tuning.
I am pretty sure thatís not the case, otherwise how would a piano work alongside other instruments? If the interval still werenít equidistant then the octaves wouldnít line up, which they in fact do.
My piano is currently set at A 432, but the intervals are still equivalent to those on my guitar. So if I tuned my guitar off the piano they would sound the same at every semitones.
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Old 23-04-2018, 01:00 AM   #9
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Re: Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

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Originally Posted by jbvdb493 View Post
I am pretty sure that’s not the case, otherwise how would a piano work alongside other instruments? If the interval still weren’t equidistant then the octaves wouldn’t line up, which they in fact do.
My piano is currently set at A 432, but the intervals are still equivalent to those on my guitar. So if I tuned my guitar off the piano they would sound the same at every semitones.

It is the case.

It is called tempered tuning.

Vocal and stringed instruments can make adjustments while perfoming to match the tuning of the piano.

Also a piano that is tuned perfectly will sound flat to human ears on the higher registers

Last edited by Bergnermd; 23-04-2018 at 01:08 AM..

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Old 23-04-2018, 01:27 AM   #10
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Old 23-04-2018, 01:45 AM   #11
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Re: Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

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Originally Posted by Bergnermd View Post
It is the case.

It is called tempered tuning.

Vocal and stringed instruments can make adjustments while perfoming to match the tuning of the piano.

Also a piano that is tuned perfectly will sound flat to human ears on the higher registers
Hmm, I guess itís right because of the range of a piano is larger than most typical instruments. Thatís interesting, the difference should still be minor tho.
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Old 23-04-2018, 02:13 AM   #12
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Re: Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

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Hmm, I guess itís right because of the range of a piano is larger than most typical instruments. Thatís interesting, the difference should still be minor tho.
The original posting talks about connecting different moods with Major scales that start on different root notes. The fact that the piano is tuned to different keys (lower and upper registers are actually streached as well because they will sound dissonat and clash when tuned perfectly (because of the physical properties of the piano's strings)) and that A4's frequancy has been shifting over the span of western history, doesn't really make sense that keys have a specific human emotion attached to them. It is highly misleading.

The best connection of human emotion or perspective to piano keys that I have found is that Major is more of an outward perspective feeling compared to Minor which has an inward perspective or feeling.

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Old 23-04-2018, 02:59 AM   #13
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Re: Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

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Originally Posted by Bergnermd View Post
The original posting talks about connecting different moods with Major scales that start on different root notes. The fact that the piano is tuned to different keys (lower and upper registers are actually streached as well because they will sound dissonat and clash when tuned perfectly (because of the physical properties of the piano's strings)) and that A4's frequancy has been shifting over the span of western history, doesn't really make sense that keys have a specific human emotion attached to them. It is highly misleading.

The best connection of human emotion or perspective to piano keys that I have found is that Major is more of an outward perspective feeling compared to Minor which has an inward perspective or feeling.
Well, I wasn’t talking about the original post tho, it’s none sense.
The clash of frequencies together is what evokes emotions, it isn’t just attributable to a key.

My point was that a piano covers 7 octaves, whereas a violin, viola, cello and double bass cover about the same over 4 instruments. So the properties are better distributed I guess?
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Old 23-04-2018, 03:30 AM   #14
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Re: Musical Key Characteristics Scales - Mood

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Well, I wasnít talking about the original post tho, itís none sense.
The clash of frequencies together is what evokes emotions, it isnít just attributable to a key.

My point was that a piano covers 7 octaves, whereas a violin, viola, cello and double bass cover about the same over 4 instruments. So the properties are better distributed I guess?
Well when a composer selects a key, certain things are expected. For example, if I said that I will write a song in G major, but I start off with the melody and chord progression on E minor or more importantly I end the musical phrase on a B minor to E minor chord progression, the song would be better understood as E minor (and would have a more inward type feeling vs. the outward feeling anticipated by a G major scale even though E minor and G major use the same notes) So with that being said its worth noting that the key does have an effect on the type of inward/ outward emotion.

going even further its not necessarly the "clashing" of notes that evoke emotion. Its the building and releasing of tension and the different ways this can be achived along with the similar and not similar tone in context. If a song just contained pure dissonace (like minor seconds) through out the whole song, emotion would not be achived like a peice writen with a proper mixture or intervals.

On a "perfectly" in tune piano if C3 was sounded with E5, It would not sound like a major consance but really dissonant.

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